It’s a strange question to ask: Can a colocation company support the team cohesion necessary for long-term development operations to be successful? The answer is dictated by two factors:
- The terms outlined in the service-level agreement.
- How committed the colocation firm’s staff is to ensuring systems are available, reliable and configured appropriately.
While the hosted data center’s network, computing and storage infrastructures are all important components of a successful DevOps endeavor, soft skills are critical components of a colocation-developer relationship as well.
“Integrating DevOps into Amazon’s workflow enabled the company to conduct over 1,000 deployments a day.”
What Is DevOps?
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, IT Revolution’s Gene Kim defined DevOps as a practice in which multiple departments (in this case, IT support and software engineers) collaborate to ensure the successful deployment of a solution. If a colocation company is a part of such an endeavor, then its employees must consider themselves essential participants in their client’s ability to generate revenue. This goes far beyond acting as an outsourced data center administration company.
All too often seen as a buzzword, Kim referenced a study conducted by Accenture which found integrating DevOps into Amazon’s workflow enabled the company to conduct over 1,000 deployments a day. Although you could say “Sure, they’re Amazon – they’re huge,” that’s still a number personnel shouldn’t neglect to recognize.
Software Development In The Modern Age
Before diving into platform requirements and professional collaboration, it’s important to understand the demands incited by modern software development. Under the DevOps umbrella resides a number of project management methodologies employed by application engineers. Manifesto, a technology development and management firm based in the United Kingdom, identified two: the “waterfall” and “agile” strategies.
The waterfall approach is comprised of seven stages: feasibility, planning, designing, building, testing, producing and supporting. In the past, the last phase consisted of a software company releasing patches as bugs were discovered. Now, the “support” component has matured considerably. The waterfall approach is similar to typical project management approaches.
In contrast, the agile model favors incremental, repetitive processes, and is executed by cross-functional teams (designers, testers, developers and others) to produce iterative versions of software. Multiple iterations, which are equipped with new features, performance enhancements and other revisions, are released on a continuous basis. For most application developers, agile is the model of choice. This is done with the goal that misunderstandings will be caught and fixed early on.
How The Process Impacts Relationships With Colocation Firms
If a software development company employing the agile method is building an application in a colocated data center, then the enterprise managing the facility’s upkeep must ensure engineers can access the program continuously, without issue.
Allowing the developers to work on the software is just one component of the relationship. Manifesto noted that whenever an iteration of a solution is finished, one of two things occur:
- The software is presented to a group of stakeholders, who are given a rundown on what the application is capable of.
- The software is released for public consumption, at which point each iteration is released to users as an update.
It’s imperative a colocation company understands the workflow associated with the agile model, and can address any accessibility or reliability issues that are guaranteed to occur. Remember: Problems will always arise, but how well a data center management team responds to such issues defines service quality.
How Does InfoRelay Support DevOps?
As far as we’re concerned, ensuring your equipment is running appropriately and under controlled conditions is just one of our many responsibilities as your colocation partner. DevOps requires more assiduous care, and we deliver this level of attention by establishing what we call Epic Support Plans. Listed below are some of the provisions we offer in an ESP:
- Those who subscribe to our Elite+ ESP are given a technical account manager who works with you on a consist basis to ensure we’re accommodating you in every way you require.
- Basic package holders and those with more advanced ESPs all benefit from distributed denial of service attack protection.
- All ESP subscribers benefit from 24/7 remote support, systems administration and network administration resources.
- We also provide remote management and surveillance tools to ensure system integrity and operability.